This season I was asked to create video content for Happs Wines, it was a steep learning curve for me as I have worked primarily as a photographer in the past. However I understand the need that my customers have for video content, so I took on the challenge. So does this make me nice guy and videographer?
Happs wanted a longer video to play at their cellar door in Dunsborough it needed to showcase their Karridale “3 Hills Estate” where most of the grapes are grown, yet few customers get to see. It also needs to capture the action of the winery, cellar door and pottery gallery in Dunsborough. This is video above is one of the first edits showcasing the beautiful “3 Hills Estate” in Karridale. The full video is almost completed but won’t be able to share this until it is officially released at the Happs cellar door. So for now I hope you like this small segment, I loved making it.
It was a challenging but I’m stoked with the results and sure this won’t be my last winery video. If you are in need of some video content, let me know. Expect more videos from me in the future
In the Margaret River wine industry we don’t talk much about machine harvesting with our customers, however for many wineries this is how the bulk of their fruit is picked. I believe customers appreciate transparency and are smart enough to understand the ecconomics and need for machine harvesting. It also happens to be an amazing opportunity to show customers this side of your business, night harvest images are dramatic and beautiful. Show your customers that you are honest and transparent, take night harvest photos are share them.
Anyhow just my opinion I image not all brands want to be aligned with night harvesting still but I think its worth considering.
Drone photography has grown so much in the last couple of years, and I have finally joined the drone flying masses. It allows me to take my camera almost anywhere and shoot common subjects from a new perspective. As I work predominately as a wine industry photographer, I can not get an image of an entire estate in one image. It shows scale so much better than I could previously with my handheld camera. However there is so much more that can be done, we are only limited by our creativity. Vintage 2021 will be my first vintage with a front at my disposal and I’m excited about the prospect.
As drones are now becoming the norm and I expect photographers will have them I don’t charge extra for drone photography. I will come out to your winery, fly the drone and then shoot hand held for closer more personal images. I can document the activity on the vineyard in much better detail than I
Expect dramatic sunrise images with pickers, tractors and bins full of fruit. Anyway we are only a couple weeks off the big mass Chardonnay picks in the Margaret River region, so you will have to just use your imagination until then.
Recently I got to shoot Nadia of Grab a Spoon cakery making an incredible cake for a lucky little girls first Birthday. Nadia has years of experience working in some of the areas best restaurants like Voyager and Hay Shed Hill. She has ventured off on her own and now makes incredible cakes at her home in Cowaramup. The time and effort she puts into each cake is amazing. This cake was a double layer (top layer vegan friendly), the lettering, figurines and decoration are handcrafted edible pieces. They are way to cool to eat though in my mind.
This was an hour and a half shoot with the main aim was to get a solid profile picture for her website update, but we thought we should shoot a bit of Nadia putting the final touches on this masterpiece for social media and extra website content just in case. It’s awesome to watch the ease in which she works in the kitchen and I love the images.
Local Margaret River jeweller Giovanni Longoni creates beautiful pieces out of spent ammunition. As Giovanni is targeting a niche market of sport shooters in Australia, he doesn’t have a shop front choosing to sell directly online. However standing out online can be difficult and getting customers to connect with your product can be a challenge. Giovanni’s business has been growing steadily and was keen to create a video that would give his customers an insight into his work. We wanted to show that the pieces are handcrafted and not mass produced. I was eager to get involved, I love producing short videos and watching artisans work. I hope you enjoy. Thanks Giovanni for your trust and support.
earth power people of Margaret River are baking up a storm everyday to keep the community full of handmade goodness. I recently posted that I was willing to trade food for photos during this isolation period. The entrepreneurial couple Gonzo and Maida were happy to collaborate. For them I shot a few images of their products, granola, cookies and sourdough which they were quick to use to market their products locally on their social media.
Together we also decided to create a video of Gonzo making Sourdough. It is art and science, I find it mesmerising watching great artisans. The video is simple and short to suit social media, but highlights the skill and care that goes into their baking. I think video is a great medium to use to show your customers who you are and give them a bit of an insight into your product without wordy explainations. Anyway I am stoked to have been given the opportunity to help this beautiful couple, shoot and eat their baked goods. I highly recommend giving these guys a try they will drop them at your door any day of the week.
It has been a fun couple of weeks for me, I feel like I have found some purpose in a period where people are largely going stir crazy in their homes. I think I am helping to temporarily elevate some of the boredom with the front yard photography while creating an intimate, personal and historically relevant portfolio of work.
People feel comfortable in their front yards and the images I’m creating have a easy feeling about them, while also giving you a glimpse into the lives of some household that make up the greater Margaret River community. We are an interesting bunch in Margaret River and the images show the diversity of character within town. I love that the houses I have been able to shoot, are proudly being themselves, there is little pretence. I’m hoping that as more people see the images coming from this project, it will gain momentum.
I have been overwhelmed with positive feedback and I want to get as many households shot and documented while we are essentially locked down. I’m not concerned about making money, if you are genuinely interested contact me, you can pay as little as $10 for the images or even trade veggies in the garden for them. I want this to be available to everyone, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to get to meet as many households in the greater Margaret River region as I can. ✌🏼
We are now practising social distancing here in the South West and my usual wine businesses that I rely on are struggling. So what can I do but sit on the couch? NO! For every door that closes another one opens and I just need to be on the look out for such opportunities. The other day I found one such open door and thought “I can do that”. So I have recently run a campaign to shoot households that are in isolation in their front yards. The plan is instead of booking a few big gigs, is to make it cheap and cheerful and book lots of small ones in the local area. It isn’t meant to be a viable long term business plan but a way to continue professional development during a down period and have some fun.
So far there has been an overwhelmingly positive response and I have completed a few shoots so far. I think customers have also been impressed by the quality of the images achieved in their front yards. It is meant to be fun and I am only asking customers to pay what they like $10-$40. This takes the pressure off the customer and I am getting relaxed clients that are willing to take chances a bit more than I am used to. Yesterday I shot a family that had recently built a new home. The front yard wasn’t landscaped and had a big pile of topsoil right in front of the house. Of course I was naturally attracted to the dirt pile and shot a portrait in front of it. It made a beautiful and honest image that truely reflects where they are at right now. We spend so much time at our houses but rarely get professional images taken at them, which is a shame. Normally given no restrictions we go to a beach or some other beautiful location for professional portraits. Yes, the images look great but often lack a sense of purpose and run the risk of looking a bit generic. Choosing to do the shoot in your front yard makes certain that these images will be different from the others in your photo album.
Anyway I really love the community spirt that shines during adversity, I am proud of the families for letting me help them celebrate and immortalise this time of social isolation with these images. There is beauty all around us at any given moment and it is good to remember that. ✌🏼
So the world is running by new rules and the way we do business is effected. However it’s not all bad and I would like to focus on that. As a business the goals for 2020 have to be revised, this virus has impacted all aspects of life (not just my photography). I don’t think if somebody had told us last year that we would all be choosing to self isolate indefinitely, that any of us would have believed them.
I am currently isolating with my wife and daughter, we are trying our best to follow the rules. It is hard but am happy to do it for the greater good of the community I live in. Anyhow being stuck at home has given me the time to reflect on my business and time to experiment in the studio. I think creativity needs space to thrive and I can see it in my work. My studio space is organised and looking better than it has ever been. This helps with workflow, it also changes the feel and therefore the images produced. I am happier than ever to be shooting and trying new ideas as they appear. Here is a bunch from this first week socially isolating, I have so many ideas that I still want to experiment with. I am excited to get into new studio product photography projects and am looking for some more local wineries to send me some wine to shoot. I know wineries are struggling a bit at the moment, so am happy to rewind my prices to accomodate this. Hope to hear from some local producers, would love to be able to get you some fresh images to help prompt online sales. 🍾
I have recently picked up a new client, yew! Peccavi, which in latin translates to, I have sinned. They are a brand I wasn’t aware of previously, as they do very little domestic sales at the moment. They are taking big steps into the domestic market now, so keep an eye out for the name I fee like you might hear about them a bit in the next 5 years. They have been in the game for 15 years and have a stunning vineyard off Wildwood road perched on top a hill, it has views to Geographe Bay. I think it maybe the one of the best locations for a vineyard I have seen. I love the way the vines roll over the gently undulating hill down to the surrounding properties property. The vines are well established and the wines being produced are top quality.
Anyway they are looking for a whole new collection of images and to document the large scale works going on over the next 12 months. Here a a few to show you the stylistic direction that they are going with. The harsh lighting, creates great contrast, while the back ground adds strong geometric lines. Marble looks sophisticated and the images suit a modern high end winery.